Natural Resources Board to vote on listing four types of cave bats as threatenedOutdoor News
- The state Natural Resources Board will vote today on adding four types of cave bats to Wisconsin’s threatened species list, to try and ward off a major fungal disease.
The state Natural Resources Board will vote today on adding four types of cave bats to Wisconsin’s threatened species list, to try and ward off a major fungal disease.
White-nose syndrome has killed over a million bats in 14 states and Canada over the last four years, and experts say it’s heading this way. Officials say bats eat thousands-of-insects every night – and farm crops could be at risk if their numbers dwindle. Also, bats bring nutrients to other cave-bound creatures. And ecologists say those creatures would be threatened if bats disappear.
Wisconsin has a larger number of bats than other states, due to its massive water resources. The DNR says there are 300,000 bats in three major hibernating areas.
White-nose syndrome was first discovered in 2006 in Albany, New York. The DNR’s Erin Crain said it was spotted this past spring about 230 miles south of Wisconsin at the Illinois-Missouri border. Massachusetts lost 10,000 bats to white-nose syndrome in 2007-and-’08. And a wildlife official in that state says there’s nothing Wisconsin can realistically do to stop the outbreak. By listing the species as threatened, officials say people will kill fewer of them – thus raising their chances to avoid extinction.
The DNR Board will be asked to list the little-and-big brown bats, along with the northern long-eared bat and the eastern pipi-strelle. Also, the white-nose fungus would be classified as an invasive species.
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